The Galaxy version of the GTX 470 fixes the two biggest issues we have with the model; the heat and the noise. The noise is clearly at a respectable level while the heat is almost there. It still runs a little warm, but nothing like the reference version. You have to wonder, though, why did NVIDIA opt for the cooler they did on this model and not try and get something that could cool the card better.
As for overall performance, there's a nice little bump. In saying that, though, it would've been nice to see Galaxy do a little bit more with the overclock. Hopefully in the future they'll release a more aggressively clocked version of the card, because when looking at the temps and noise levels we can't see why they couldn't get more out of the model.
On the bundle front it's a little light. Actually, it's very light, but the fact that you're paying the same price as a reference GTX 470 with better cooling, quieter operation and faster performance, who are we to complain?
We have to wonder what would've happened if NVIDIA spent just another few weeks on the model before releasing it. You can see that not long after launch Galaxy has been able to do a bit with the model and made it a more serious contender in the market.
The other good news is that Galaxy has uploaded the latest version of Xtreme Tuner HD to their website which is supposed to give us the ability to adjust the core voltage. Having already downloaded it, I'll be attacking the card very soon with it. Off the reference GTX 470 we saw some good performance gains when it came to overclocking, but heat and noise were still an issue. I'm hoping that with the heatsink/fan redesign we can get even more out of this particular model.
Sticking to the $349.99 price tag is probably one of the best things that Galaxy has done. This is a great version of the card and the R&D team are quick and responsive. Galaxy has shown us that they're ready to rock and roll with the new GTX 400 line-up. We really can't wait to see what the company does with the GTX 480 and the new mainstream GTX 465 that is due in the coming weeks.